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Alice & Benjamin Hulett’s Meatloaf With Tomato & Basil Sauce

Both of us are professional opera singers and have two very hungry teenage boys in the house, so this is an ideal dish to feed us all: tasty, moreish and filling.


1 tbsp olive oil

75g unsmoked pancetta

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 stick of celery, finely diced

½ medium green pepper, finely diced

500g good quality minced beef steak

100g breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp worcestershire sauce

1tsp dried oregano

Handful of chopped fresh parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

12 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

500g passata

1 450g tin chopped plum tomatoes

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 celsius, fan.

In a heavy-based frying pan, heat the olive oil over a high heat and fry the pancetta until golden. Reduce to a medium heat and add the onion, celery and green pepper. Fry gently for 10 minutes until soft, without browning the vegetables. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place minced beef in a large mixing bowl, and using a wooden spoon break the mince down into small chunks. Add all the other ingredients except the bacon, and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, bearing in mind that the pancetta will add salt to the mixture.

Drizzle a little olive oil onto a small baking tray. Take the meatloaf mixture, and shape it tightly into a loaf shape on the tray. Drape the rashers of bacon widthways across the meatloaf, overlapping each one over the next slightly, and tucking the ends underneath to stop it from curling, until the meatloaf is completely covered. Set aside.

For the tomato sauce, using a medium saucepan gently fry the onion in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the crushed garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the passata and tinned tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Bring gently to the boil, turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer gently for 1 hour.

Place the meatloaf in the oven, uncovered, and cook for one hour.

Roughly chop the basil and add to the tomato sauce. Taste, and adjust the seasoning in the sauce if necessary, and remove from the heat.

Slice the meatloaf and serve with a generous spoonful of tomato sauce, creamy mashed potatoes and buttered cabbage or broccoli.

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